Betty Augustowski, helped introduce the Polish Lowland Sheepdog to the USA and worked hard to gain AKC recognition for the breed. Our interview, offers a unique insight into her vast experience and knowledge of PONS (as they are known in America) and will help motivate PON Lovers to learn more about PONS by purchasing a copy of her book.
Betty, what inspired you to do another book on our beloved PONS ??
(Shirley - Editor, of PON Digest, conducting this interview)
was called by the editor to do a book for the
you first introduced PONS into the
"Yes, the breed today has lost some of its look from years ago. i.e.: the breed is now too tall, they have lost the stockiness from not working. The chocolates today are not what we saw when the breed first came over. Yes, you will still see some chocolates but not as deep and lustrous in color. Back in the day, you would see a solid deep chocolate color in the dog."
Which new topics have you added to this updated book ?
"I added some information on the health problems that we are seeing now, AKC information, first AKC Champions and especially the section ďDonít Buy A PON if....Ē. I would have liked to have done more but my health gave out and I wasnít able to do so. I was able to get some help at the last minute, but the deadline had come and I had to go with what I had."
observing all those beautiful PON photos' in your updated book, do you
some of the photos in the book you still see the breed as it looked when
they first came over. But as I had said above, the PON as
we knew it back in the 80ís has changed. I wasnít able to get many
new pictures, again.
had asked and the folks that I had asked didnít follow through. I had
to use what I had on hand, and the editor had some pictures from the
last book that hadnít been used he even purchased a photo from a
professional photographer for the cover. As for the coat types? Well,
again some of the coarsenessí is gone, and at times you will see a PON
that has no undercoat, most of the time the undercoat is missing, due to
the owner removing it, through improper grooming practices or purposely
for easier grooming."
in showing and breeding ??
"Anybody new or interested in the breed should do as much research as possible, books like this are a great source especially the section ďDonít Buy A PON if.....Ē.
a new person wants to breed their PON just do all of the health checks,
on both the PONs used for the breeding and make sure that both dogs have
good temperament and are within the specified sizes in the official PON
Standard. You should also make sure that you will have the time to
devote to the pregnant bitch and the liter of puppies if you are the
owner of the female.
grooming, which basic advice would you like to offer owners ??
early in your grooming, younger dogs adapt more easily to the grooming
process. It is best to have your grooming down to a pattern, before your
pup turns 10 months. By the time your PON has reached the 10 months of
age the coat will be starting to change and the mats will be in the coat
before you know it.
Use a good pin brush, a good comb and good shampoo. A PON should
never be groomed with a dry coat it should be damp when you start your
grooming. NEVER use a slicker brush on the PON coat. I have found that
the earlier you start your routine with the grooming and by keeping it a
positive process the better off you will be. If done correctly your PON
will love being groomed. Never let up, keep a regular schedule to
maintain the coat, if you lay off for too long the mats will take over."
owners have commented on skin conditions/allergies in the breed. Do you
not sure what advice can be given here. Each PON is different. Kaz and I
always feed a low protein diet of dog food with lots of vegetables. One
thing with the PONs is that they do love their vegetables. Allergy
testing is always an option if diet changes donít work. Some owners
will like to cook for their PONs and others will feed the RAW diet. It
is up to each owner as to what they chose to do."
How can we strive towards protecting our PONs and insuring general breed health ??
"This too can only be done by the owners of the PON. Some owners will do everything in their power to preserve and protect the breed, others wonít. Some would rather cover problems up with a false sense of pride than admit they are having problems within their kennel, jeopardizing the future health of the entire breed. You can only hope that each and every owner will do their very best and share what they have experienced.
to insure the well being of our PONS. Thank you and we look forward to reading
Hi to all PON lovers and owners - Betty Augustowski is pleased to announced that she has completed an updated book on our fantastic breed. For those interested in having a copy, please note the following:
Anne Weiss's Mikey
Mikey went to the library for a R.E.A.D. orientation and was an instant celebrity among the children.